Okay, so, the quick story of how I spent last night in the St. John’s emergency room: one of the things I’m doing for Tessa’s birthday is “reducing the amount of chaos in her life.”
Wait, I didn’t see the irony in that sentence until now. Let me start over.
In order to make our humble bungalow a little less chaotic, I took down all the loose, jumbled cork squares that were holding up a million pictures, prescriptions and receipts, and replaced it with a clean system of dry erase boards, linen pinboards, an Important Mail slot, and even a digital picture frame that’ll show a bunch of different images (instead of printing all of them out).
But we still love paper photos and various effluvia, so I decided to make our bathroom door magnetic, thus getting rid of all the tape and mounting squares that screw everything up. So I got a roll of sheet metal about 6 feet by 2 feet, and was measuring it against the door, when Lucy got out of the bath and wanted to tackle me as usual.
I told her to stand about fifteen feet away, while I put the sheet metal down. Instead, the damn thing coiled up, snapped over my shoulder and came down behind me, slicing straight into my calf. I knew in about a half-second something was terribly wrong – about a half-pint of blood was already on the floor, all over my shoes and splattered on the bottom of the stove.
My immediate thought: SHIT! I’ve hit an artery. I yelled for Tessa to call 911 and to bring a small towel, and limped backwards to lie down and raise my leg over my heart. My wife, as many of you know, is not terribly fond of blood – which was now everywhere – but she was there in seconds. I tied the towel tight around my calf and gave directions as best I could.
Here is the mind of ADD at work, and I hope some of you can relate: within five seconds I knew I was bound for the emergency room, I knew the emergency room meant at least four hours of time, and I called out for my cell phone and a backup battery, because I have Scrabble and email on it. I do not fear losing my foot, I do not fear pain, I fear boredom.
Ah, but my poor Lulubeans. She stood there screaming in shock, and I kept on trying to use my most boring airplane-captain-during-turbulence voice, saying everything was totally okay and normal. She was having none of it; it’s hard to listen to reason when your Daddo is lying in a blood-spattered crime scene, twisting a tourniquet made from a formerly-white burp cloth and a metal spatula.
The firemen and paramedics were in my kitchen within seven minutes and praised my spatula tourniquet, carting me off to the ambulance as I kept yelling to Lucy “all is well! Everything is fine!” like Kevin Bacon in Animal House. Once we were on the road, and they had all my vitals, I noticed I was clutching my iPhone, and took a picture.
I also saw the Facebook app, and thought it might be a nice update. So I typed it in, and wow… if you ever think you’re alone in this world, update your Facebook status. I have a friend who went from “Married” to “It’s Complicated” a few weeks ago, and it sent the eastern seaboard into a tizzy. As for me, THANK YOU FACEBOOK FOLKS for all your wonderful notes. I’ve always been careful about updates because I don’t want to bore anybody, but perhaps some tweets have the opposite problem.
Two things had to happen at the hospital: stitches and a tetanus shot. The lignocaine shots you get before the stitches? UNBELIEVABLE. I’m pretty impervious to shots, but these were dementedly tortuous. And isn’t there something, I dunno, barbaric about the concept of stitching your skin back together? Like they haven’t come up with anything better?
Speaking of which, tetanus shots, once the domain of screeching elephantine needles stuck into your ass for fifteen minutes while you howled and shat yourself, are no more. Now you barely feel the shot at all, which is good news for those of you wanting to walk barefoot at a construction site.
Two hours and I was out of there, barely enough time to put “BETWIXT” on a Triple Word Score. I got seven stitches from a nurse named Amy Adams, which was cool, because Tessa and I rented “Doubt” the night before. And my amazing wife spent Mother’s Day evening cleaning up a bloodied kitchen, and talking our daughter down from Hyperventilating Crazyville.
Oh, but that metal sheet? It’ll be framed into that door, you can fucking bet on it.